A short drive from Louisville, in Clarksville, Indiana, you will find the Falls of the Ohio State Park, a fabulous experience for any nature lover.
The Falls began as rapids from the Ohio River that flowed down 2.5 miles and dropped 26 feet along the way. Much of the water from the original falls is now flooded behind the McAlpine Dam.
The park offers a look at many fossil beds as old as 390 million years, which are some of the largest, naturally exposed beds in the world. Also of interest is the Interpretive Center, which houses dozens of exhibits on the history and wonder of this area.
Visitors to the park enjoy fishing, hiking, walking, fossil viewing, bird watching, picnicking, and experiencing any number of the guided tours, particularly of the fossil beds.
Things to Do
- Visit The Interpretive Center which contains over 100 different exhibits, including a model of the Falls of the Ohio River, a mural showing the falls during Native American times, and an award-winning 15-minute movie about the Falls of the Ohio River.
- Observe any number of birds, including goldfinches, chickadees, cardinals, blue jays, woodpeckers and red-winged blackbirds in the Wildlife Observation Room that is situated in the hallway behind the Interpretive Center's mural.
- Take advantage of one of the naturalist-led hikes held daily from Memorial Day through Labor Day weekends, which showcase the fossil beds, wildlife, and the McAlpine dams and locks.
- Bring your own canoe or kayak to paddle with a group along the falls or rent a canoe through one of the nearby companies.
Falls of the Ohio State Park Insider Tips
- The Interpretive Center will be closed for renovations until September 2015.
- Wheelchairs are available at the Interpretative Center, and the theater presentation has closed captioning for the hearing impaired and audio devices for the visually challenged.
- Water, a hat, walking stick, and good hiking shoes are recommended for the guided nature hikes.
- Hikes are dependent on river conditions, therefore, one should call the state park office the day before to confirm they are taking place.
- Access to the fossil beds is best from August through mid November when the river is at its lowest level.
- Parking fee is $2.